If you've never had homemade Clam Chowder then you are seriously missing out on life. I cannot believe I hadn't tried it until I was in my thirties!
"If you're cooking food, you don't have to count calories" -Michael Pollan
So last year my husband and I took a trip to Seattle and we wanted to "experience the city" ...or whatever. At the spur of the moment we decided to try a local seafood restaurant called Duke's Seafood and our lives have never been the same since! Okay I'm being a little dramatic but seriously, this place has the BEST clam chowder that I've ever tasted, which is why I now have my own Southern recipe for it.
This recipe will take you about 45-50 minutes from start to finish.
I've said it before, you're going to need to invest in a Dutch Oven. They aren't expensive and it's a great investment that you can use for almost anything.
Don't take shortcuts using bacon bits, they don't produce enough grease to flavor the veggies so stick to the real thing.
Use Raw Clams, you won't regret it.
Remember to add the Clams last and be careful not to overcook them; you don't want them chewy. They're Clams after all, not gum.
5-7 Strips of Bacon, Fried and Crumbled
3 Celery Ribs, Chopped
1 Large White Onion, Chopped
3-4 Red Potatoes, Cubed
1 cup water
½ stick of butter
1 Tsp Minced Garlic
3 Tsp Chicken Bouillon (Dry Seasoning)
1 Tsp ‘Season-All’
½ Tsp Pepper
½ Tsp Thyme
½ Tsp Cayenne Pepper
⅓ Cup All-Purpose Flour
8oz Bottle of Clam Juice
2 Cups Half-and-Half, Divided
16oz of Raw Chopped Clams, undrained
*Optional: Oyster Crackers or Corn Bread
Using your Dutch oven, fry Bacon until crispy but not burned. Set aside and crumble once cooled.
Using the leftover bacon grease and a little oil, sauté the chopped Celery and Onion over medium heat until slightly soft or translucent. Add Garlic and sauté 1 minute.
Next, stir in the Potatoes, Clam Juice, Water, butter, Chicken Bouillon, Black Pepper, Cayenne, Season-All, Thyme and ⅓ of the crumbled Bacon.
Bring to a boil then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered for 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
In a small bowl lightly whisk Flour and 1 Cup Half-and-Half until smooth. Slowly stir mixture into Dutch oven and bring to a boil. Cook while stirring for 2 minutes or until thickened.
Stir in Clams and remaining Half-and-Half. Simmer ingredients until fully heated but do not boil (8-10 minutes).
Serve with remaining Bacon sprinkled on top and either Corn Bread or Oyster Crackers. Enjoy!